I'm using an I2C device connected to an RPi. The device only handles receiving one byte (which is then transferred via radio to a similar device on the other end, that acknowledges the reception of the byte) or receiving one byte (same consideration, in inverse path).
It happens that when sending a sequence of bytes within a loop in a python script, they are sent faster than the device is able to process them, so I get a considerable amount of IOError exceptions when this happens.
Right now the only way I found to ensure that I send every byte is to catch the exception and retry after a while:

import time
import I2C
# connect with device on address 0x23, bus 1

# function to retry the sending a <byte> to device, at most <times> times
def retry(byte,times):
        for i in range(1,times):
                        print ' {1}'.format(byte,i),
                        # try to send the byte
                # if there is an IOError sending the byte, wait some time
                except IOError,e:
                # if writeRaw8 worked (byte was sent), do not retry
                if s==1:
                        print 'Ok'
        if s==0:
                print 'Ko'
        return s
# loop for sending 50 bytes
for i in range(0,50):
        print 'sending {0}'.format(i),

This works, but I feel that this is not the most appropriate way to do this. However, I've not found a way to check if the slave device is ready to receive a new byte or not. Do you know about a way to do this?

1 Answer 1


Doesn't the device provide a method?

Some I2C devices will return 0xFF if you try to read then when they are not ready.

Alternatively record the time when you sent a message and don't send a new one until x milliseconds has elapsed (where x is determined by experiment).

  • Nope, this device (elecrow.com/…) just returns a particular byte value (0x71 if I don't remember wrong) whenever you ask it to get a value and it has no value to return. But when sending, you can just send the byte and hope it gets there (I understand Rosetta and Philae now...)
    – Roberto
    Nov 13, 2014 at 22:28

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